Complications Related To Child Nail Biting
Following are the complications related to nail biting in children:
- Sometimes children can gnaw into their nails so deep that they often bleed that can hurt their fingers or make their gums sore.
- Nail-biting with dirty hands can lead to infections and diseases.
- Severe nail-biting can be a sign of underlying attention or anxiety problems that need to be dealt with.
Understanding why your child continues to bite their nails is half of the solution to stopping the habit. Over time, it is possible to get them to quit by reinforcing positive alternatives.
How To Stop Kids From Biting Their Nails For Good
Just like adults mindlessly chew at their fingernails, so do kids. It might be a nervous habit or a grooming activity they turn to in moments of boredom. More often than not, they dont even realize when they are doing it.
It could be an unconscious go-to if they are worried about taking a test, thinking about a situation with a friend, or just watching a brain-numbing video on YouTube.
Generally speaking, nail-biting is no big deal and fairly harmless you might consider having some patience and wait to see if this phase passes. However, if finger-chomping hangs in for the long haul , youll want to take some simple steps to nip this habit in the bud. Heres what you can and should do.
Stop The Nail Biting Habit
Like most moms, you want to stop your child from developing a nail-biting habit that can last a lifetime. For the most effective results, it is important to intervene as early as possible. Early intervention is easier to deal with than trying to break a habit that is well established. Several solutions can help but it is important to know that all kids are different and what works for one child may not work for another. Your childs motivation for quitting will determine which solution will be most effective.
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Why Does My Toddler Bite Their Nails
Studies have shown that about 50 60 percent of toddlers and kids bite their nails, or at least, have one of the nervous habits. So if you find your toddler biting their nails, dont panic, they are not alone.
While most people believe that kids bite their nails when theyre nervous or anxious. Some studies have shown that nail-biting could be also genetic. Other reasons for nervous behaviors include:
· Anxiety Toddlers and kids often resort to gnawing on their nails when they feel anxious or shaken but dont know what else to do.
· Boredom Nail biting or hair twisting is one of the activities kids turn to when they are bored but dont have toys or friends to play with.
· Relaxation Some kids find comfort in biting their nails, while others find thumb-sucking self-soothing.
When To See A Doctor
Biting is a frustrating problem, but its usually a temporary one, as many toddlers outgrow this habit by the age of three or four. Therefore, a persistent habit of biting beyond this age could be a sign of another issue, perhaps problems at school or behavioral issues.
Talk to your child, consult caregivers, and discuss the problem with your pediatrician for guidance.
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Nail Biting Ages 1 To 3
Why does my child bite her nails?
Nail biting is one of the somewhat misnamed “nervous habits,” which also include thumb sucking, nose picking, hair twisting or tugging, and tooth grinding. But anxiety is only one reason children bite their nails your child might be doing so for a number of other reasons — out of curiosity or boredom, to relieve stress, to pass the time, or from force of habit.
Of all these habits, nail biting is the most common and the most likely to continue into adulthood. About 30 to 60 percent of elementary school students and 20 percent of adolescents bite their nails, at least for a time, and between one-quarter and one-third of college students say they still bite their nails. Nonetheless, most children will eventually stop or at least limit the behavior on their own, either because they lose interest or because their classmates tease them into quitting.
How can I stop my child from biting her nails?
You probably can’t. Nagging and punishing her won’t help, because nail biting is an unconscious habit — she probably doesn’t realize she’s doing it. Similarly, if your child is in the throes of toddler contrariness, she might respond to pressure by embracing the habit rather than abandoning it. You can’t do much until she’s old enough to want to end the habit herself, usually sometime in the early elementary school years.
Does my child’s nail biting mean she’s excessively anxious?
Simple Steps To Kicking The Habit
Comprehensive daily steps outlined in our e-book, and here is a brief excerpt:
Day 1: The decision is made!
Apply Magique NoBite treatment to only nine of your nails, leaving the little finger on one of your hands free. If the urge to bite your nails is overpowering, you still have your unprotected little fingernail to satisfy your need and limit the damage. This Ã¢nakedÃ¢ finger is your safety net!
Day 2: Reapply Magique NoBite daily
Reinforce the bitterness of Magique NoBite every day by applying a fresh coat. The bitterness will last effectively up to a week, but why take any chances. Reapplication is most important in the early weeks, but it will be helpful throughout the first 30 days. Besides, you got a large bottle of Magique NoBite polish, so you may as well use itÃ¢Â¦right?
Day 6: Results begin to appear
You should be starting to see results, but you will need to STOP chomping on those cuticles. We would have put this first, since it is important, but the order of things demand that you get all the grunginess that is going to tempt you into biting taken care of first. You are going to have to push your cuticles back daily.
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Kids Biting Nails: Whats The Worst That Can Happen
Children biting nails may seem like a very natural occurrence, but there are very real reasons why your little one should keep those pearly whites away from their fingers.
While this is by no means a sure guide to the horrors that await your little angel, it is good to know what can happen if their nail-biting habit gets way out of hand. In short, biting can lead to:
- Severe shortening of their nails
- Constantly broken skin on the fingertips
- Increased risk of chronic paronychia
- Partial destruction of the cuticle or the nail plate
- And, of course, other secondary infections
While these are extreme end results, each one of them began as an innocent biting of that very first nail and grew into a problem from there. Understanding the worst-case scenario can help gauge the seriousness of the situation.
Learning how to get kids to stop biting nails, depending on whats causing the habit, will help make sure you have the skills to support your child in breaking the habit.
So Whats The Trick To Stop Nail
Brainstorm about a reward that would motivate your child.
It needs to be something way bigger than normal, and trust me, its worth the investment!
Then, give your child a certain cut off date.
I have found five days to work best.
For younger kids, you can use a chart to mark off the days or make paper rings for the countdown.
Anything visible is a great reminder to keep going.
My daughter just needed verbal reminders, plus she has five siblings making sure she keeps her side of the bargain!
I always give my kids three strikes.
If I see them biting their nails three times, the plan is over no reward.
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How To Get Kids To Stop Biting Their Nails: 14 Tips For Parents
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If you are trying to figure out how to get kids to stop biting their nails, it may seem like you have an uphill battle against you. Everyone has heard a horror story of an adult who was never able to break this childhood habit. Not only is nail-biting a pretty gross pastime, but it can cause dental and gastrointestinal problems due to the bacteria from under your nails. Not good! Here is how to get kids to stop biting their nails well before adulthood.
How To Stop Toddlers From Biting Their Nails
When it comes to a 2-year-old biting nails, sometimes the best option is to simply carry on as normal, and hopefully, this little habit will go away on its own. If not, then we have some other methods that may work for you below.
You could start by telling your little one about hygiene and some reasons why it’s not nice to put your fingers in your mouth and that we all have dirt and bacteria under our nails.
Keep their nails trimmed and smooth, so there won’t be much there for them to bite. Also make sure to gently file down any rough edges, as these can be very tempting to chew on!
Come up with a secret signal or code, so that when you spot your child nail-biting you can gently remind them to stop. This is great for when you need to discreetly remind them, without drawing attention to it or embarrassing them.
Use a fun reward system. You could give your little one a sticker for every half-day they manage without nail-biting, then once they get say, four stickers, they get to choose a treat. Don’t forget to heap on the praise, even if they don’t quite manage it, remind them that you are proud of them for trying.
Try offering your child a swap so they’ve got something else to keep their hands busy. Silly putty, a soft toy, a funny or cute stress ball, or finger puppets all give nervous hands something else to do. If you notice there are certain times when your child is most likely to bite their nails, for example, while watching TV or in the car, then start the swaps here.
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Do Not Scold Or Punish The Child
If you notice that your child bites his nails in no case show aggression, showing how you dislike it. Roughly yanking and slapping his bail will not solve this problem. At the same time, the baby himself will very quickly understand that this cannot be done with his parents, but alone, when no one sees, it is very possible.
The most important thing in this case is to try as early as possible to find out the reason why your child is constantly nibbling marigolds, and then act in accordance with the recommendations of specialists.
Create A New Healthier Habit
Like every habit, nail biting is a tough one to quit, so replacing it with a healthy one can be a good tactic!
Try introducing regular snacks of crunchy carrot, cucumber and apple sticks as they can replicate the crunch they get when biting their nails.
A small stress ball or some silly putty can work in the same way, giving your child something else to focus on when theyre feeling fidgety or worried.
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Find Something The Nailbiter Loves As A Big Reward
My daughter is a hard-worker and a money-saver.
She loves to earn money, and her siblings know that.
If they want out of a responsibility, they call her over, offer her their job and payment.
Rarely does she turn a job down!
It didnt take me long to find a motivational reward for my daughter.
You guessed it money.
Why Does My Toddler Constantly Bite His Nails
Your child may bite his nails for any number of reasons curiosity, boredom, stress relief, habit, or imitation. Nail-biting is the most common of the so-called nervous habits, which include thumb-sucking, nose picking, hair twisting or tugging, and teeth grinding.
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When Nail Biting Could Be Something More
Sometimes, nail biting could negatively affect your childs social relationships or interfere with their daily functioning. Youll notice this happening if your child complains that other children are teasing them about their bitten nails.
Nail biting can also have physical ramifications. It can lead to painful ingrown nails or nail infections caused by bacteria that have entered the damaged skin around the nail.
More rarely, chronic nail biters can damage their nail beds and teeth. This is called onychophagia. Research shows that it can be treated using oral devices to help break the habit.
A toddler who adds habits to their repertoire may be signaling that theyre anxious about something. By spending one-on-one time with your child, youll build up a strong parent-child relationship that will help them share whats going on in their world.
Fear About Nail Trimming
After having worked our way down a list of reasons that could contribute to our sons new-found habit of nipping at his fingertips, we discovered that the whole thing stemmed from an incident where we had trimmed his nails a bit too close to the cuticle. That minor incident had given birth to a reluctance to trim nails, and eventually to his reasoning that if he trimmed them himself, we wouldnt have to.
The solution: Over the following months, we took great care not to hurt him while trimming nails after bath time. We slowly eased him into the trimming process by involving all the kids. We even tried to make nail care fun and fascinating. We sat them all down and explained to them how their nails worked what was the cuticle, what we trimmed, where we should cut the nail away, and showed them how to do it themselves.
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Put A Bitter Taste On The Fingers
When shorter nails just will not stop the toddler from chewing on his nails, a more drastic approach may be to put something bitter-tasting on the fingers.
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There are solutions on the market that are specifically geared towards stopping nail-biting. While they are effective, some may irritate the eyes if accidentally rubbed. As such, according to Meraki Lane, the labels should be read carefully to make sure that the solution is age-appropriate for a toddler.
The site also suggests using aloe as a deterrent to biting nails. It is all-natural and effective, but will not last as long as the over-the-counter solutions.
Avoid Making It Worse
Calling too much attention to your childs bad habits is likely to backfire and their nail-biting may get even worse. Punishing your child or embarrassing them for biting their nails also wont be effective in helping them change his habits.
Help your child manage their nail-biting but dont get too wrapped up in making them stop. Yelling or telling them that they’re gross wont help.
Skip the lengthy lectures about all the reasons why putting their fingers in their mouth is disgustingthat isn’t likely to work either.
Helping your child put an end to biting their nails will be much more effective if they’re on board with the plan. If they’re not particularly motivated to quit, your efforts aren’t likely to be successful. So, be patient with them and if they’re not interested in stopping, you may need to wait until they are.
You might broach the subject from time to time by saying something like, “I notice you bite your nails a lot. Do kids at school ever seem to notice?” Mentioning that other people might see them doing this might make them a bit more aware of others perceive them.
Similarly, you might ask them, “It looks like your fingers get sore sometimes when you bite your nails so much. Do you ever wish you didn’t do that?”
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What To Do About It:
Left alone, your child may gradually outgrow this habit, especially as he finds other ways to relieve stress . Until then, take these steps to subtly steer your nibbler away from his passion.
- Reduce anxiety. Counter stressful events in your toddler’s life with extra attention and affection. Help him find other ways to blow off steam. Physical activity works as do quiet activities, like drawing or listening to a story.
- Create a code. Make it secret, so just the two of you will know it then, use it to gently remind him to stop biting without nagging or embarrassing him. Discreet options include a light touch on the arm, a pinkie wave or a special word.
- Offer a substitute. Keep his hands busy with a sugar-free lollipop or frozen ice pop.
- Keep his hands otherwise occupied. When he starts grazing on that pinkie finger, distract him with a hands-on activity, like playing with clay or working on a puzzle.
- Keep nails short. Shorter fingernails are boring for nail-biters.
- Reward his efforts. A sticker for each unchewed nail or a bigger prize for going a week without nibbling can be very motivating. For little girls, the promise of a manicure may work.
What Are Nervous Habits
Nail-biting and other nervous habits are body-focused repetitive behaviors that kids often engage in unconsciously. Although nervous habits do not pose a serious threat to the kids health, they are not so pleasant to behold. Nail biting, thumb sucking, hair twisting, nose picking, and tooth grinding are some of the most common nervous behaviors.
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